Sunday, June 3, 2012

Payne on Fire

Man on Fire is one of my favorite movies. Denzel Washington and a young Dakota Fanning; throw in Christopher Walken and a few quality international actors and you have quite a film. Set in Mexico City with that beautiful Spanish music; it’s an incredible movie about love and the things we do to redeem our past transgressions.

After a decade long hiatus RockStar decided to release the third installment of the Max Payne story. Set sometime after the second game and the demise of Mona Sax, Max Payne is a story of a man who has all but died and is waiting for the end. After the loss of his wife and child in a brutal murder Payne has seen the ugly side of humanity and he wishes to look no further. So when someone gives Max a reason to see light in the darkness of his life, when sometime good is taken away to be snuffed out for selfish reasons, Payne is out for blood. His is a common archetype, The Dark Knight, the black knight tilting at windmills, the anti-hero; and we love them. They strike a chord in us the way the story of the hero never does. We find the hero unreachable, the Boy Scout, the sacrifice for the greater good; but the anti-hero is different. In the anti-hero we see ourselves, in the anti-hero we can see our past missteps and misdeeds forgiven.

Max Payne is a man who even by his own reckoning doesn’t walk with the angels and yet his deeds speak louder than his words. Whether he is breaking skulls with his fists or cutting down gangsters, corrupt police officers, or soulless brothers; he is on fire and what a sight it is to see.

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